tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN February 18, 2012 2:00am-3:00am EST
that does it for this edition of 360. thanks for watching. erin burnett "outfront" starts now. breaking news. a suicide bomber's plot foiled. his target, the u.s. capitol. remembering whitney houston. friends and family prepare for her funeral. and under surveillance tonight, google, they have been tracking every site you visit. let's go "outfront." good evening. i'm tom foreman in for erin burnett. outfront tonight, breaking news. a suicide attack stopped just short of the capitol steps. new details at this hour about the plot. authorities say the would be bomber had conducted a test in west virginia. chose the capital after considering an attack on a d.c.
restaurant, and allegedly told investigators he wanted to kill people, quote, face-to-face with an ak-47. if the investigation had not gone well, if detectfes had not done their jobs, our lead story would in short be a calamity. instead, the fbi and the u.s. capitol police stopped it cold. he was arrested in a sting operation when undercover agents posing as al qaeda operatives gave him a fake suicide vest. it contained no explosives, so the public was not in danger. tonight, the 29-year-old would-be bomber is behind bars. brian todd is in alexandria, virginia, outside the courthouse where he made an initial appearance today and was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. you have been on this all day long with new details coming out. what are you hearing this evening about this alleged plot?
>> tom, some very interesting new details according to court documents. fbi affidavits and other documents filed today, mentioned a couple of different phases. that's really the interesting part of how this developed. according to law enforcement. last month, they had been tracking for a couple of months, but say that last month, one of the faces where he handled the ak-47 was the face where he was allegedly planning to attack a restaurant. as part of that plan, he not only handled an ak-47, but also handaled an explosive as a result of what to be used in the attack on the restaurant. he conducted surveillance to determine the best place and time for a bombing of that restaurant and that he purchased materials as part of that plan. at about that time, he met up the people who he believed were al qaeda operatives, but in fact, they were law enforcement people, they were undercover. they were working him throughout
this alleged operation. now, according to an affidavit, about mid-january, last month, he modified his plans and stated that he wanted instead to attack the u.s. capitol building, and the same day that he informed his undercover contacts who he thought were al qaeda operatives of that, he did go to the quarry in west virginia, you mentioned, they said he dialed a cell phone number that he believed would detonate a bomb placed in the quarry. the bomb did explode, and at that point, according to law enforcement, according to affidavit, he wanted a larger exploeshz for the attack, and he told them that the planned date to explode a bomb inside the capitol, february 17th, today, he planned on doing that. this morning, he was taken down. >> terrific information, brian todd. i want you to stick around because we may come back to you. joining me now, a former fbi assistant director, tom fuentes
and stephen klein. former military interrogator. tom, let me start with you. as far as we know, he had no actual ties to any terrorist group. he's a classic lone wolf terrorist like we talked about. how on earth do you suppose they found out about him? >> normally in a case like this, what you're looking for is the lone wolf or lone individual is unable to carry out the attack he wants by himself, so even though he's thought up this idea by himself, he's intent on carrying out an attack. somebody has to help him. so he has to reach out, whether it's in the community or on the internet, reach out and try to find someone who can help him with the explosives, with the vest, with the firearm, with the ammunition, with some aspect of the plot that he is unable to do all by himself. at that point, that's where the community outreach of law enforcement, this case, the fbi, really makes the difference
because when that person reaches out, hopefully somebody in the community reports it to authorities and says this person is going to do something bad. we need you to look at him. >> in some ways, i can't help but wonder if his plan to switch to the capitol may have been helpful because that is such a big, hardened target that attracts so much attention, where if you're hitting a restaurant, we've said, those soft targets, they're so much more vulnerable. >> i think that's a safe assessment. if you look at the so-called lone wolf, it's all about intentions and capabilities. someone with capability, 300 million people that could have capability, but no intention, it's safe. so an individual with intentions sought out a capability. that's when law enforcement was able to interdict. >> steven, when you look at the level of planning we see here, the fact he had done things with explosives, at some point had an ak-47, was actually trying to make contact with people. on a scale of one to ten, with
ten being an operative plan, zero with somebody with fantasies, where would you put this sort of plan? >> in a seven or eight category. looking at a model tracking these people, it's not perhaps unlike suicide. psychologists can give indicators, symptoms of someone who is at risk, and law enforcement and intelligence can give us indicators of somebody who is at risk, where community outreach is so critical. >> washington, d.c. has so, so many places that could be hit. is it in some ways fortunate he turned his attention to something that draws so much attention? >> the capitol is chosen because it ensures maximum worldwide media coverage. we've had bombings in restaurants all over the world. they happen all the time. in some cases, they get attention. here in the u.s., they don't unless u.s. citizens happen to
be in that restaurant and victims of that. so hitting a restaurant, bus stop, a discotheque, library, we've seen that all over the world. there's only one united states capitol in the world. if you commit an attack on that, that's significant. >> brian, are there any indications when we might know more about the operational plan here and how the fbi and the capitol police got on to this guy? >> well, tom, we know from documents and from law enforcement officials that he first came under their radar a little more than a year ago. they became aware of him in jun of 2011, apparently from a human source who had confided to law enforcement that he had some ill intentions. so they had been tracking him for more than a year. now, as far as the hard, undercover working of this guy, that seems to have unfolded really in kind of a hard form over the last few months and really in material form over the last two months.
december and january is when they started to work plans with him. you guys mentioned a little about the other targets. he apparently in january had plans to hit a military installation along with the restaurant and was discussing the plans with the people he thought were al qaeda operatives. >> again, as we say, this whole issue of the lone wolf being the one that is maybe the most dangerous because they're the hardest to get on to. thanks to all of you. we'll be on this story all weekend long. make sure to stick with cnn where for of that. still outfront, a desperate plea from syria. we will talk to ivan watson, who is in harms way on the ground there. the president riding high. he's winning the war against congress. is he unstoppable going into the election or will high gas prices run him out of fuel? and dramatic new video of the italian cruise ship crash. we're going to take you inside the panicked ship's command center like never before. stay with us. it just doesn't stop. in syria tonight, the government is expanding its crackdown. on opposition forces. syrian security forces continued heavy shelling of the besieged city of homs, but anti-government protesters defiantly staged public demonstrations across the ait
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it just doesn't stop. in syria tonight, the government is expanding its crackdown. on opposition forces. syrian security forces continued heavy shelling of the besieged city of homs, but anti-government protesters defiantly staged public demonstrations across the country. opposition activists report as many as 61 people were killed today. cnn's ivan watson is in north syria in an area emerging as an opposition stronghold up there. i asked him what he saw earlier today. >> reporter: tom, the syrian uprising has been going on for 11 months. more than 6,000 people have been
killed in the ensuing government crackdown on these protests and yet every week, syrians come out into the streets in what have become a ritual of defiance. that's what we saw here in the north when we visited the small town of vinish, which is an opposition enclave. you had men who gathered for friday prayers, they paid their respects to one of their neighbors who was killed, they said, by a sniper in the nearby city, and they poured out into the streets chanting god is great, and there under a freezing winter downpour, this crowd engaged in a furious rally denouncing the syrian president bashar al assad. they know well the threat of the syrian security forces firsthand. tanks and security forces have made intrugs into the village. they could tell you names of people who were arrested and
subsequently tortured or people who were killed, and syrian tanks are about a five minute's drive away. and we got reports unconfirmed that similar rallies like this in towns to the south were attacked by syrian security forces. this is the face of the syrian revolution. >> it is astonishing how it just goes on and on. we will stay on top of it through all these coming weeks. thanks again to ivan watson. international affairs is one of the things that has gone pretty well for the obama administration from the start, and this is shaping up to be quite a president's day weekend for barack obama. the economy is doing better. at least a bit. the dow ended just shy of 13,000 today. that's a nice, high mark. his approval rating is on the rise, back at 50%, and today, a big political victory. after months of ripping the capitol hill crowd as a do nothing congress and pushing for an extension of the payroll tax cut, the president got what he
wanted. the bill passed. he'll sign it this weekend. >> this is a big deal and i want to thank members of congress for listening to the voices of the american people. it is amazing what happens when congress focuses on doing the right thing instead of just playing politics. >> "outfront" now, john avlon is with us and ryan salom. let me start with you. just a couple months ago, republicans were just like this over the election, let's go, let's go. and democrats were sweating bullets. now, it's almost like it's changed. the democrats are saying, bring on the election, and republicans are struggling. what do you make of this? >> i think that's very true and it partly reflects the fact that we've had an economic environment that's improved. and the bigger thing is it's improved in the right places and the right ways for the president. in the midwest. the manufacturing sector has healthy. ar a lot of swing voters here. if you look at the voters that have tilted to the republicans
in 2010 after tilting to president obama and the democrats in 2008, they're also doing better. it's those swing voting constituencies doing better, where as a lot of the president's core constituencies, like african-americans for example, less skilled voters in urban areas, who are still hit hard, but they're not about to go and vote for republicans. >> you say it's better somewhat. it is somewhat better, but housing prices are still terrible. unemployment still over 8%. but the trend is the president's friend and that's the most important thing. one of the things we saw in reagan's '84 campaign. unemployment still high, but moving in the right direction. gdp growth moving in the right direction, so it's the issue of whether people feel like morning is coming in america. we have been through the worst. that's the significance of that clint eastwood chrysler detroit ad. yessic times are tough, but we're through the worst, we're coming out of it. that's the narrative the president wants to run and he's right, but half right. the other thing i think the president's benefitting from is this drawn out republican primary.
where it's this sort of reality show cage match and the president really looks good by comparison. the longer this goes on, the more negative ads that are thrown, the better the president looks bike comparison. we've seen that in some recent polls, especially cnn polls showing independent voters. swinging back towards the president. >> back up the machine. backing up a few years, that's what they said about the democrats. they're dragging out the election. that is a long time between now and november. >> this is a very different primary race. part of the reason, when you're looking at the race between obama and clinton, it forced them to compete for a lot of the working class white voters, voters that the democratic nominee would have to compete for come the general election. as now, both are major republican candidate, more than two, they're competing for these solid conservative voters who are going to vote republican no matter what. so you're fighting for the guys who you already have in the bag come general election. >> this is the problem with polarization. you reap what you sow.
it's a fight for the right. when mitt romney says i'm a severe conservative to cpac, that message does not resonate with voters. it alienates. >> let me ask you about something related, that president's actually have so much influence on. gasoline prices last year were the highest they've been ever. over $3 a gallon on average. all year long. look at that chart over there. they're ticking back up again right now. people are talking about over $4 a gallon. maybe up toward $5 a gallon. i think if they are that level in july and august, nobody's going to care what happens in january and february. >> the president is already preparing for that. one of the most potent messages republicans have had is that we're for energy from any and all sources. the pres has co-opted the language. he hasn't coopted the substance, but he's recognized that's a potent political message.
let me take it to muddy the issue. >> he also said i'm an energy president. if this happens in late summer, i think he's got a problem. >> a week's a long time in politics and we are still a long way out. if gas prices are high in the summer, it will add to that sense of irritation. >> i'm not saying it's the president's fault. any prdz would have a problem with that. >> this is what's fascinating about the political times we're living in. the president only has so much control over the economy because the economy is so interconnected. we're dealing with the global economy. a french finance minister has an enormous impact on the american election. >> we have to have you back to talk about the french financial minister some other day. >> thank you. always good to have you in here. new details are coming out tonight. really interesting material about the death of whitney houston. our don lemon has been on the case. he is joining us with the latest and under surveillance, google. they've been creeping and they've been peeping, and maybe at you. stick with us. [ bird chirps ]
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under surveillance tonight, google creeping and peeping. the internet giant slipping around your privacy settings to see what you're up to online. a wall street journal investigation reveals that the circumvented to see what you were looking at. they have stopped the type of tracking, so what is really
going on here. i have no idea. raf needleman joins us now. he's going to tell us about this. what exactly was google doing? >> well, one of their advertising areas had figured out a way to circumvent a privacy feature of safari. the browser is supposed to prevent advertising companies or any company from putting a cookie, a way to track you as you go to site to site on your browser. google circumvented that so that the advertising companies could learn more about what you were doing online. so they could serve you better advertisements. >> so, a case of advertising, saying he's looking for canoes, therefore, i should push paddles at him. maybe he would like to buy them, too. >> right.
the thing that makes this so interesting is that apple's safari browser had a specific block against the easy way to do this, so google had to find a way to circumvent the apple mechanisms for blocking the collection of third party advertising. what makes this even more fun is that the code behind the browser is called web kit and it was written by engineers working for google. >> i have to say, i just expect someone to be tracking everything i'm doing on the internet. is that a fair way to look at it or is it reasonable for people to say, come on. our privacy should be safer than this? >> both. i think you're reasonable to expect people want to track that because of the economic incentive for an advertising company to know what you're doing on the internet is so high. but there were companies like apple and google who were trying protect you and your privacy to an extent. apple did build a tracking prevention tool into safari to
prevent other companies from doing exactly what google on the other side of campus did. >> thank you very much for explaining it to us. i have a feeling we'll be revisiting the topic an awful lot of times. good for you to be here. next, dramatic new video from inside the italian cruise ship after it slammed into rocks and we have new details tonight about whitney houston's final hours as her friends and family prepare to honor her this very weekend. [ male announcer ] let's level the playing field.
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we start the second half of our show with stories we care about, where we focus on our own reporting and did the work and find the "outfront 5." up first, authorities say a suicide bomb plot has been stopped. the target, the u.s. capitol. he was arrested in a sting operation when undercover fbi agents posing as al qaeda operatives gave him a fake suicide vest. he appeared in court this afternoon and was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. number two, anthony shadid, an award-winning new york times journalist died yesterday while covering the conflict in syria. it's believed he died from an asthma attack while traveling from turkey into syria. his father spoke to cnn today.
>> the world lost an amazing journalist and i lost a beloved son that i never asked anything of him that he didn't do. he was the best at everything he did. >> he was indeed a terrific, terrific reporter. "new york times" photographer tyler hicks carried his body out of syria and back into turkey. and new video of the italian cruise ship. after it ran into rocks af the coast of italy. take a look at this. this leaked video shows the chaos on the ship. the crew called to abandon ship. that order did not call for more than an hour after the collision. experts investing for the discovery channel say the ship's captain had no reason to be so close to shore. >> there is good, deep water further away from the island,
which he could have transited through without any incident, so that was one of the questions we had, why were they so close to shore and why did he feel the need to take a greater risk that was necessary? >> 32 passengers and crew members did not make it off the ship. you can see more of the video sunday night on the discovery channel. cruise ship disaster, inside the concordia. airs at 10:00 p.m. eastern. four, crude oil hit $105 a barrel. up $5 for this week. the founder of again capital told us this will translate into a 15 to 20 cent increase in the price of gas at the pump. drivers could see that as soon as next week. crude oil prices have gone up partially because of uncertainty in iran. and it has been 196 days since the u.s. lost its top credit rating. what are we doing to get it back?
that's constantly the question. consumer prices up by two tenths of the percent in january. coming in lower than economists expected. one of the other huge stories we've been covering all week and will be magnificently i think emotional and moving this weekend is the story of whitney houston and the net is spreading fast this evening into the investigation of whitney houston's death. this hour, detectives are scrutinizing hotel surveillance video, seeing who was with her, scrutinizing video to see how she was acting, and authorities have contacted doctors and pharmacies all across the country for information on who gave her what kind of pills and if anyone else should be blamed for her death. our don lemon has been all over the story. from the starturg in men a ways, don, authorities seem to be trying to confirm many of the things you reported all week. there were a lot of people around her. >> this is the first time i've
actually gotten back, gotten the chance to sit back and pay attention to this story because i've been covering it so much. and just having you read that before, there's vast amounts of information that they are dealing with now as we're preparing to memorialize whitney houston tomorrow. as you said from coast to coast, east to west, they have subpoenaed pharmacies and doctors. to try to figure it out. it's a death investigation. they don't believe there's anything criminal about it now, but what they are learning is that one thing leads to a next. when they contact one pharmacy, that leads team to another pharmacy, when they contact one doctor, it leads them to another doctor or dentist or specialist. they don't believe she was doctor shopping, but it's amazing at the amount of information they're having to deal with and dotting their is and crossing their ts because of michael jackson. >> i was going to ask about that. >> so many celebrities in hollywood die because of doctor shopping. >> we still don't have any idea of what her cause of death and won't for a while.
that is the concern to make sure. >> and we don't know the cause of her death and also, the circumstances surrounding her death are even more at question now because no one official according to a source i spoke to close to the investigation, ever saw her in the bathtub or in the bathroom. >> no one at all? >> the person who found her and the person who tried to pull her out of the tub, the staff member, and person who tried to revive her, but they are taking those two individuals at their word. the fire department didn't see her. the coroner's office didn't see her. when they got there, she was face up on her back in the hotel room. >> one of the things that is fascinating about your coverage is that you have run into people who were friends who want to say she was great, she was fine, everything was wonderful, but you met plenty of people who in recent years have looked at her and said this person was not fine at all. >> i think that's natural. you and i know each other. just because we work together. and i would want to protect you as a colleague.
now, imagine if i were a family member or friend or someone who worked with you, or a loved one. >> you talked to people who saw real problems. >> you would want to protect them in some way, and that's a lens that you're viewing the situation through. but if you're an addict, admittedly, you probably should not be drinking alcohol. you shouldn't. and if you're on prescription medication, which was confirmed, do you know one prescription medication that says okay to take with alcohol? not one. there are people around her and if you're a friend, you go, oh, whitney, you look great and you want her to be well. i've spoken to her voice coach. the person who represents what everyone wanted from whitney houston. for her to come back. and be the star she was. he met her in 2005. what he saw, he said, was horrific. take a listen to him. >> i was shocked at her condition. her vocal condition. she had no voice. her speaking voice was virtually gone. her singing voice was gone.
she had maybe one note in the lower register. she was skinny, dishevelled. i went there because i would told and she wanted to make a return, a comeback. >> when you hear that, don, and you talk to the people around her, you're getting a more complex picture than she's fine or everything's awful. >> absolutely and it's because of lifestyle choices that she didn't have a voice and regardless of the cause of death, her state when she in the days and hours up to her passing, it was because of her lifestyle choices that she was acting that way and i'm sure it's going to be something to do whether or not it's directly, something to do with years of abusing her body. >> is this timeline on the autopsy still the same? still several weeks away. in terms of a real answer. >> originally, they said six to eight, now, they're hoping four to six. they have expedited the toxicology reports. >> i know you'll be on it and it's been really, really interesting. let's bring in michael walden.
this is all coming on the eve of whitney houston's funeral. excuse me, to the reverend in a moment, but this is all on the eve of whitney houston's funeral in newark, new jersey. which is going to be this weekend. it's going to be quite an emotional affair. many of the people, some of the biggest names in showbiz will be there performing. they gathered today. a viewing today. joining me now from the church where this funeral's going to take place, reverend defori, who is sunday attending tomorrow's service. he's known whitney houston since she was 14 years old. when you listen to all the reporting don has done this week, you hear all these conflicting reports about who she was, what was going on with her. the people around her, what are you thoughts? >> my first thought is that don has done an excellent job. he's been balanced. he's been serious. he's been fair. and i just want to commend him. thank don on behalf of those who knew whitney for so long. every life leaves lessons
behind, bit there is a protocol that we pretty much accept in our community, and that is that until the celebration of life, which will happen tomorrow, we try to not only celebrate the good, but also to encourage the family. right now, our focus is to help this child, mothers and brothers get through a very painful moment. beyond that, we'll have the rest of our live to dissect the facts, discover the lessons and attempt to grow from what we know. >> let me ask you another one about this. your religious communities all over speak about our responsibility to ourselves, but also, a responsibility to the people around us. at this time as you look at the people around whitney houston who you knew from such a young age, what are your thoughts on that? >> well, i'll tell you frankly, no one really knows from the
outside how much help whitney did receive from the people very close to her. i can tell you story after story about her mother, about other people close to her. who really worked hard to not only help whitney, but also worked hard to get whitney to help herself. and so, we don't know the depth of her challenges. she was very public about the demons that she wrestled with. we don't know therefore the level of struggle she engaged. fact is, we live in a society that is exposed to tremendous challenges, both famous and not so famous. and i'm not prepared to say that she did not get help. all of us could perhaps get more help, but i think many people would be surprised to know how much help she really received and how much love she really received. how much challenge she really received. there were people who supported
and challenged her. that's not assume that all of the people around her turned a blind eye to the challenges and struggles. >> thanks so much for joining us and we will be talking to you tomorrow. don, i want to return to you quickly with the thought there. this must be for all the people who talked to, also, a very conflicted time. people in one breath saying i want to defend her, i want to be her friend and support her. but there must be many saying did i do all i should have done? >> and that's always the case. let's just be honest here. people don't want to, they're in denial in many ways and many african-americans are because drugs hit the african-american community disproportionately are in denial about abuse, of illegal drugs and prescription drugs, and having to have dealt with something similarly to the whitney houston story in my own family, my family member is still here, but having to deal with that, we were in denial for a long time. oh, she's just fine. and you do everything. until someone wants to change themselves, there's nothing really you can do.
until they hit rock bottom or get to a place and say i don't want to do this drug anymore. this pipe or drug or snort this in my nose is not doing any good. there's really nothing you can do, and they're a grown person. >> and it's one that has to be remembered. when somebody has a problem with alcohol or something, oh, she was at a party, she was drinking, she was fine. they can't be at a party. >> and you can be on the wagon for years and then say i'm going to have a little glass of wine and next thing you know, you're in an alley. that's the reality of it. >> bring in michael walden, grammy award winning producer and song writer who produced some of whitney houston's biggest hits. i appreciate you joining us here to talk a little bit about this. you knew her from so far back and you saw so much talent. tomorrow is going to be such a day of emotion. what will you be thinking as this day comes? >> talking to me now, right? >> yes.
>> for me, i'm thinking about my love for the great whitney houston. she was a beautiful woman in every way and i am here to celebrate her life and to inspire everyone to feel the love that she gave us. very, very happy to be here. >> from the beginning, you were just overwhelmed by her talent. you knew you were in the hands of somebody remarkable when you started working with her. >> yeah, i was talked into working with her by jerry griffin. he said stop working with aretha for a moment and work with whitney houston. who's whitney houston? when you hear her, you're going to know why. so then, okay. we recorded a song, "how will i know."
she was phenomenal. ♪ there's a boy i know he's the one i dream of ♪ and so thin, so gorgeous. the whole package going on. so, it was fantastic for me to meet her and work with her. extremely confident. and her mother, cissy, is so beautiful. it's all a love fest. >> quite an extraordinary thing. now, you have also, one of the big questions that everybody keeps asking about as we look at the extraordinary life and legacy she left, one of the real focuses continues to be on her daughter, bobi kristina and the talent she has because we've heard she's interested in getting into the music business. any particular thoughts? >> last year this time, a clive da davis' party, i met bobbi kristina and she said to her mother, well, mama, i want to sing, and she looked at me as if i'd can produce her. whatever your mom wants to happen, we'll do. god bless bobbi. want to say prayers for her, her heart is healing. we'll see what god wants in her future. we'll see what god wants for us in our future. >> thanks for being here. don, thanks for being here. and absolutely right. and thoughts have to be with any teenager out there who lost a parent. just a terrible, terrible thing. it's going to be a difficult weekend for the whole family. >> it's really sad. very emotional now just sitting here. i know tomorrow's going to be
just unbelievable. it's starting to sink in now. one week. can you believe? >> we'll watch. it's going to be interesting to see. >> up ahead, the notion of the responsibility in the death of whitney houston. indeed, for anybody who is having this type of trouble. how much blame if any should be placed on doctors? and medical professionals? and whitney houston's impact on the music industry continues even after her death. you won't believe it. billboard magazine changed their own rules in response to her success over the past week. stay with us. ♪
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come swill be giving awayrs passafree copies.. of the alcoholism & addiction cure. to get yours, go to ssagesmalibubook.com. all week long, whitney houston's death has raised serious questions about the use of prescription drugs and how much responsibility falls on doctors who prescribe them. joining me now, dr. kapur and dr. paul cowin. i'm glad you can both here. when something unfortunate like this happens, and i want to point out, we don't know at this point what happened in whitney
houston's death, but when these questions arise about possible prescription drug problems or interactions with alcohol, how accountable should be the doctor who prescribed it? >> i think the physician prescribing any medication is there. we have to prescribe medications and tell people the side effects and interactions. the pharmacy also has a responsibility to give patients information about the medications that they're taking. but ultimately, the responsibility is a joint process. the patient is the ultimately the one who is taking the medication and the patient basically has the -- taking it in their own system. they have an obligation and need to be truthful about what medications they're taking, what other medications they may be taking and what other doctors they may be seeing, whether it's a dentist or any medications that may interact with a prescription a doctor is prejibing.
>> when does it cross the line, a doctor or pharmacist, you were also a prosecutor. what would they have to do for us to start saying as a culture, no, no, this is beyond. >> it does cross the line, i think we saw in the michael jackson case, the prescription of propofol to help him sleep. totally inappropriate. it was a drug meant for the operating room. cases, though, where xanax or other opiates are abused, it's harder to draw the line. was the patient in pain, was the prescription appropriate? when you look at someone who is a known drug addict, a lot of celebrities have a public history. a lot of doctors who might not know a stranger coming off the street, might know a celebrity had a long history with abuse. if you prescribe opiates, some dangerous medication to a drug addict in that situation, you may be bordering on criminality, that where the line gets drawn,
i think. >> what do you look for when you deal with patients who come in because you must have a lot of people who aren't celebrities who come in, who you talk to, you visit with them, you say this person has a problem. >> i think certainly knowing your patients is a key. i disagree that, we are as physicians, we don't generally come at patients thinking we're going to commit a criminal act. it's really hard, if i were -- if some patients were on television as a celebrity, to see them and say they must be drunk or they must be acting out. we can't do that with every patient. so the main issue is that the prescription drug abuse is a nationwide crisis. we -- in 2007, 28,000 deaths were atrinted to prescription drug overdoses. that's a serious number that it doesn't just affect celebrities. it affects everyone, and it doesn't have to have fame or money. it's not just about abuse. it's about misuse.
it's about use and misuse. it becomes abuse only if, a, the patient is using it to get high or doing a different or is an addict. >> let me jump back to paul because we're uning out of time. here is the other question. as investigators look at this, as they look at doctors, pharmacies, at the people around whitney houston, if in fact it is found to be an abusive situation, i'm guessing what they're looking for is was anyone a facilitator, a knowing facilitator who knew she was in trouble and kept leading her down the path? >> yes, anyone who knew shy was a drug addict and was abusing drugsfurc they helped her get the drugs and the drugs caused her death, that's criminality. if it's a doctor, a friend, it can be any one of those people, that kind of conduct is criminal and prosecutors will look at that. but these are hard cases to make because you know, in the end, tom, we're trying to protect people from their own misconduct. and there's only so much we can to do protect people from
number seven on the hot 100 singles chart. it's been almost 20 years since that song topped the charts for a then record 14-straight weeks. during its original run t was certified four times platinum, a first for a woman artist, and it helped make the "body guard" the number one movie soundtrack of all time. this brings us to tonight's number. 6,723%. that is the increase in sales whitney houston's "i will always love you" experienced thethis week alone. just how big is that jump? so big it is forcing billboard to change its rules. in the past, catalog songs, tracks that continue to air on the radio after they debut, were ineligible for the hot 100 once they had spent 20 weeks on the chart and fell out of the top 50, but according to the billboard director of charts,
quote, going forward, we feel that it is the proper move to allow older titles posting enough activity to return to the hot 100 if ranking in the chart's upper half. that is right. under the brand new whitney houston rule, classic songs that sell enough copies or get enough air play to crack the top 50 can now make a triumphant return to the hot 100 years after their popularity. whitney houston will be laid to rest saturday after a funeral at her childhood church. the funeral will include a eulogy from marvin winans, and talking from kevin costner. stevie wonder will sing. the celebration begins at 11:00 saturday morning with whitney houston, her life, her music. the special will include live coverage of the funeral and a look back at her life and achievements and concludes with